Technology

Thursday 24 July 2014

Smart Consumer: Our guide to the best money-saving apps

Aideen Sheehan

Published 09/05/2013|04:00

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Appy out: Maria Malik once got a desert safari trip for €25 using a deal site. Photo by Ronan Lang

From petrol to hotels, apps can take the hard work out of finding bargains, writes Aideen Sheehan

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We're all spending half our lives on our phones these days so we might as well save some money while we're there. Smart Consumer looks at some top moneysaving apps that can help you net a good deal or save a few euro in your everyday life.

Most of these apps are free to download and browse, but some offer premium services at a cost.

Pumps.ie Free

Fab free app that will tell you how much petrol and diesel costs at filling stations near you. We were able to see around 20 stations in a five-kilometre radius with prices ranging from €1.559 to €1.609 per litre.

Trivago Free

App that checks offers across a range of booking websites such as booking.com, laterooms.com, lastminute.com and others.

For example, it found a double room in the g Hotel, Galway, for €158 with clever-hotels.com compared with €190 on some other booking sites.

Vouchercloud.ie Free

Great for finding deals when you're out and about. Will tell you what restaurants are offering discounts – and there's a growing number of retailers coming onboard with offers.

We found offers such as 25pc off your food bill in Pizza Hut; €40 off Timberland Earthkeeper Boots; and 10pc off takeaways from Letseatin.

Whats App Messenger €0.89

Extremely popular app that lets you send free texts via the internet to the phone of anyone else who's signed up with it. Particularly useful if you're abroad to avoid roaming charges – as long as you've got Wifi access. When you sign up, you'll see a list of everyone in your contacts list who's also connected.

Hailo Free

The taxi app that's soaring in popularity allows you to tap on it to call a taxi and track its progress without any of those complicated explanations of where exactly you are as it locates you by GPS. Because you're linked up with the nearest available taxi you generally have to wait less than five minutes for it to get to you.

Many drivers also waive the €2 callout charge and you have an option to pay automatically by credit/debit card, getting a receipt and a photo of your driver and their ID number as well as a security precaution.

Spotify Free

The music-listening app that allows you to stream music live on your computer or phone. There's a free trial period for six months allowing free listening interspersed with ads but after that there's a limit of 10 hours per month.

You can also purchase subscriptions for €4.99 to €9.99 per month offering unlimited ad-free listening.

Onavo Extend Free

App that allows you compress data while using the internet to cut your phone bill. This can be particularly handy if you're abroad and want to cut down on extortionate roaming charges – though as always the only way to avoid them altogether is to stick to Wifi internet access.

Onavo also has a data monitoring app which allows you see what apps and programmes on your phone are using a lot of data, as keeping tabs on this can help you save money.

Mydealpage.ie

Free to download

If you're a fan of daily deals sites, this allows you a handy overview of all the major Irish sites and then links you to that site to make a purchase.

We found a €60 Tapas food and drink voucher at Dax café bar for €27 with grabone.ie; and a half-price €55 physiotherapy treatment with dealrush.ie.

Irish Independent

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